What can I gain by gentleness today?

That’s the question I’m to reflect on today. The first thing that came to my mind is that it’s easy to be gentle to the ones I love. Well, most days anyway….Now that makes me think about all of the times I’ve yelled and scolded and tried to “force” kids and husband and friends to do what I want them to do:

  • Tried to force my kids to pick up their stuff by yelling, threatening, using guilt to make the feel like they have to.
  • Tried to force my husband to listen by not letting him go during an argument.
  • Tried to force my friends to like me by trying to be more like them and do what I think they want me to do.

So, let’s rethink that first thought of gentleness…what can I accomplish today without yelling, nagging, guilting? How can I show gentleness to those that I find it difficult to be around (I don’t want to say the word “enemy”, because they really are not an “enemy”…that’s a little harsh). It’s more difficult for me to refrain from saying something about those kinds of people….

…and so the day went on….

Looking back…Testing my gentleness:

  • I was the 1st one up, but the 3rd to shower = cold/lukewarm shower! I found it very hard not to curse my eldest who soaked it all up…why is he still living here? Then I felt bad for thinking like that…
  • I left for work, put my coffee on the roof of my car as I juggled my stuff to get the door opened…it tipped and of course I spilled coffee down my back window…lovely, now I have to wash my car…oh, but they’re calling for rain…
  • First few emails of the day…I found myself deliberately avoiding a potential meeting with someone that I (and many people) want to avoid…hmmmm….tough to say or even think anything nice…
  • Found several more of the usual “irritations” at work that had me reacting in negative ways like gossiping or saying mean things about people that I really don’t know that well, so really shouldn’t even comment…
  • Patience left me as I slammed the door on my daughter as we rushed to a baseball game that I was sure was going to get rained out. More driving and more waiting around for her. No words were spoken in the car…by either of us…
  • I left her and her friend to get warmed up for the game while I gazed wearily at the clouds and cursed the weather again as I drove off to get a bottle of water (which we’d forgotten to bring)….
My heart fell as I realized just how I’d been tested today in my quest for gentleness. How I’d failed in being truly gentle in my actions and especially in my soul today. I was being pretty hard on myself. My first day of focusing and it was a mess. I had a second ice cream sandwich of the day in my hand; consoling myself with junk. Junk that ended up making me feel worse…lovely…
Disheartened, I closed the door of my car to head back to the game. Instantly, the radio came on and this song started and immediately tears welled up in my eyes.
Suddenly, His voice came to me through the words of the song. I heard the whole song from the start. Every word feeling like an arm around my shoulder. The weight of the day and all my failures became so small.
The song finished as I pulled up to the ball diamond in the pouring rain just as Rebecca was first up to bat…
Thank you, thank you for answering the prayers that I don’t even know I’ve prayed…your message came through, loud and long and beautiful.

One thought on “Gentleness

  1. Sometimes it’s so hard to be gentle! Just reading about your day, I understood. And yes, you also need to be gentle with yourself–we’re all just treading water, trying to make better choices when we can. xo

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